The sponsor of a bill to end five- and six-figure sick-leave payouts for retiring public employees in New Jersey is calling on Gov. Chris Christie to sign compromise legislation.

Sen. Paul Sarlo of Bergen County told The Associated Press the governor is holding up the bill over a relatively small difference that would end unlimited payouts for all future employees.

Christie vetoed legislation a year ago that would have capped the payouts at $15,000.

Democrats then reduced the cap to $7,500, but the governor has insisted the cash value of accumulated sick time should be zero. Christie says sick leave should be for illnesses and not be a retirement bonus.

Sarlo says a small incentive would discourage employees from using their entire sick-leave entitlement every year.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)